Role of transposable elements in genomic rearrangement, evolution, gene regulation and epigenetics in primates

Genes & Genetic Systems
Hee-Eun LeeHeui-Soo Kim

Abstract

The Human Genome Project revealed that almost half of the human genome consists of transposable elements (TEs), which are also abundant in non-human primates. Various studies have confirmed the roles of different TE families in primate evolution. TEs such as endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), long terminal repeats (LTRs), long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs) and short interspersed nuclear elements (SINEs) all have numerous effects on the primate genome, including genomic rearrangement, regulatory functions and epigenetic mechanisms. This review offers an overview of research on TEs, including our current understanding of their presence in modern primate lineages, their evolutionary origins, and their regulatory and modifying effects on primate as well as human genomes. The information provided here should be useful for the study of primate genomics.

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